Advertising on Facebook vs Instagram: Why Advertise on Facebook and Instagram?

Facebook and Instagram are two of the world’s biggest social media platforms, with 3.7 billion users across both platforms. Millions of marketers are now using the platforms to reach new audiences and achieve their business objectives.

Both channels provide a great opportunity to use a variety of ad formats, ad objectives, and targeting options to reach your target audience and drive traffic and sales for your business. Whilst these channels allow you to achieve the same thing, they’re not both exactly the same so it’s important to understand the differences between the two channels so you can choose the most effective channel for your business.

What Are the Benefits of Facebook Advertising?

Facebook Advertising offers a range of benefits for your business, including:

  • The most widely used social platform – Facebook has over 2.7 billion active users which is higher than Instagram and any other social platforms.
  • All age groups use Facebook – statistics show that 51% of 13-17 year olds, 79% of 18-29 year olds, 79% of 30-49 year olds, 68% of 50-64 year olds and 46% of 65+ year olds use Facebook. Running ads on Facebook allows you to reach a wide range of people.
  • Can be used for B2B and B2C businesses – all types of business advertise on Facebook so, no matter who your audience is, they’re likely to be on Facebook.
  • The most visited social media platform – 74% of Facebook users check the site at least once daily. This is higher than Instagram’s daily users so the chances of your target audience seeing your ads are high.
  • Range of effective ad features – Facebook provides a huge range of different ad types and targeting types to help you reach the right audience. This includes retargeting to your audience, creating lookalike audiences and different ad formats, measurement capabilities, and targeting options.

What Are the Benefits of Instagram Advertising?

Alongside the benefits of Facebook Advertising, it’s also important to understand the benefits of Instagram Advertising too. Benefits include:

  • Instagram audiences purchase from the app – one third of Instagram users have made a purchase directly from an Instagram ad. These users are in a purchasing mindset which allows for more conversions on the app.
  • Great organic functionality – Instagram provides you with the perfect opportunity to build your brand organically. You can build a following and awareness of your brand on the platform without spending anything. If you get it right, you can grow your followers, fans and word of mouth referrals which can help to increase ad conversions.
  • Better at engaging ad audiences- Instagram is a visual platform so helps to drive more engagements. If you have a lot of visual content to share, Instagram is the best platform for you.

Should You Run Ads on Facebook or Instagram?

Many clients want to know whether it’s better to run ads on Facebook or Instagram. There is no universal answer to this question because it all depends on your brand, content, and target audience.

Running ads on both platforms can be beneficial for your brand but, if you’re low on resources and need to pick one, we always advise choosing the platform that is most used by your target audience.

Here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing the right platform for your business.

Ad Management

Both channels can be managed through the Facebook Ads manager which makes it easy to place your ads on both channels and to choose the right placements for your ads.

Facebook’s campaign manager provides you with options for objectives, ad sets, and ads so you are provided with a number of different ad combinations to test and you can preview your ads too.

Instagram’s ad manager is easy to use. You can use the app to set your ad up in just a few steps from an existing post or story. If you’re not looking for a huge amount of data and just want to know the basics, Instagram provides the best ads manager.


One of the main ways Instagram and Facebook differ is in the types of content they utilize and the interactions they can generate.

Facebook allows you to use a range of different ads such as:

  • Carousel – two or more scrollable images or videos
  • Single media – an image, video or slideshow of images
  • Existing posts – this includes any links you might have shared

Instagram provides the same options but you’re unable to make the links in your caption clickable so you will need to use a call action button to add a link to your website.

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Think about what you’re looking to achieve and if that type of content doesn’t match your goal, it’s unlikely your ad will perform.

Behavior on Facebook is based around interacting with friends and family and sharing interesting links and informative posts. As a result, shareable content such as blogs, news articles, and case studies are the best types of content to use to generate engagement on Facebook.

Instagram is a more visually oriented channel so think about creating compelling photos and videos to get the best engagement levels.


Goals help you to determine the success of your campaigns based on the results or ROI you’re looking to achieve. Facebook’s Ad Manager makes choosing a goal for your campaign easy. It allows you to choose the right objective from the beginning and options include everything from generating brand awareness to driving website traffic or conversions.

Facebook’s Ad Manager manages ads on Facebook and Instagram but not all of the options are available on Instagram so you’ll have to consider what you want to achieve before launching your campaign to make sure Instagram can help you meet your goals.

If you advertise on Instagram through the mobile app you’re not able to choose an objective so you will need to keep this in mind when planning your campaigns.


The industry your business operates in can have a huge impact on whether Facebook or Instagram is suitable for your business. For example, businesses that sell food, fashion, and consumer products tend to perform better on Instagram.

Your industry can also affect how much you pay for your ads. If you sell more expensive products or services, you will need to run ad campaigns across the customer journey from generating awareness to consideration and purchase. In addition, if you have a lot of competition, it will cost more for you to break through the noise. However, if your industry does not already have a strong presence, you’re likely to have less competition so your advertising on Facebook and Instagram will cost less.


One of the biggest differences between Facebook and Instagram is the available audience to you. Men and women from all age groups are active on Facebook and the most active users are 25-34-year-old men. So, if you want to reach a wide range of people or people within a specific age group, Facebook provides you with access to a wide range of people.

On the other hand, Instagram has a much smaller audience. Statistics show that men and women use Instagram but neither both sexes nor all age groups are equally active. The most active age groups on Instagram are 18-24-year-olds and 25-35-year-olds.

If you’re trying to reach a younger audience (Generation Z and Millennials), Instagram is the perfect platform for your business. For other age groups, Facebook is the best channel.

Type of Ads

Facebook allows you to create a wide range of ads to target your ideal customers. These are different ways of engaging people on the channel and allowing them to interact with your brand.

The types of ads you can run on Facebook include:

  • Video ads
  • Image ads
  • Collection ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Slideshow ads
  • Facebook instant experiences/canvas ads
  • Lead generation ads
  • Offer ads
  • Post engagement ads
  • Event response ads
  • Page likes

Instagram is a much more visual channel so the adoptions are more limited. The types of ads you can run on Instagram are:

  • Photo ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Stories ads

As you can see, whether you use Facebook or Instagram to advertise your business depends on a wide range of factors including your industry, your target audience, budget, and the goals you want to achieve. Understanding each channel, as well as where your audience goes, will help you to make sure you choose the right platform for your business.

For more information about using Paid Social to grow your business, please contact our team today. You can also check best Facebook marketing agencies and Instagram marketing companies from our directories.

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